Feminism, Capitalism, & Islam – What is equality? Being a man?

fiminism 2My friends and I were sitting in a courtyard cafe in London, under the sun, with a light breeze. A friend abruptly mentions that him and his fiancé have broken up. Of course, we naturally asked “Why”? Before he got the chance to tell us the reason, his best friend interrupts and says, “Because she wasn’t feminine enough”. I immediately found the opportunity to formulate a heated discussion and said, “What do you mean by feminine enough? How can a woman be the right amount of woman?” The best friend replied, “She didn’t take care of him, make him dinner, or take care of his house. Simply put, she wasn’t all women.”

The friend who had broken up responded with a rather certain “NO!”- he continued, “no, no, no, that wasn’t the reason. The reason was that she was confused. She didn’t know what she wanted in life. She didn’t know if she wanted to be my wife, the mother f my children, or a business woman.”

The best friend interrupted again, “Dude, why are you lying to yourself. The woman didn’t take care of you the way a man needs to be taken care of. You guys went out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You had your place cleaned 3 times a week by a paid housekeeper. Moreover, she had lost her job so that you paid for everything, and she wasn’t giving much in return. A man needs more than just his physical needs.”

I got into the conversation again and said, “You are an educated guy from one of the top universities in the world and these are your thoughts. Then there is really no hope for feminism to become an epidemic movement. If you think as such, how can one expect those who live in closed societies, those who are not educated, or those who are from parents who have not practiced equality at home to think differently.”

He replied, “You are using the term feminism very loosely. I am a feminist, but not your kind of feminist. A while ago, I read this study about feminism that goes to the root cause of the movement. In short, a bunch of capitalist men sat together after the World War 2 and decided that there isn’t enough workforce since so many men have lost their lives in the war. They thought to attract the women to work at factories and offices by introducing the concept of equality. So really, feminism is a consequence of capitalism. A bunch of businessmen lured women to think they should work to prove they are equal to men. I feel sorry for women who have been played for years for an unjust cause. What is fair now? There are women like our friend’s ex over here that our friend luckily got away from. She was smooching off of him and giving nothing in return, and then there are women on the other end of the spectrum. Those who are mothers, working full time, taking care of their home, maintaining their looks, which again is unfair since there is too much burden on them. How much can a woman juggle?”

By this time, I guess you (dear readers) are thinking to yourselves, this guy is definitely not a feminist. Or that he is the typical douche-bag next door. To be honest, I was first offended too, but after pondering long, and hard over what he said, I started to do some research of my own. Was he as wrong as I thought he sounded at first? Isn’t feminism in the sense of how we practice it today really a result of a capitalist movement? I can never answer this question, nor blame the entire movement on a bunch of men sitting and deciding for everyone else. I think this sort of over-simplification and conspiratorial thinking is not healthy and will do me no good. So I don’t advise it. However, it has definitely raised a lot of questions in my mind. 

I know for a fact that this way of life, this status, whatever you want to call it, this thing we have today is far from equality. It feels somehow that women have focused so much on getting equal rights, that somewhere along the way, we have confused feminism with being both a man, and a woman. As a modern woman, I work hard and earn money,  I study, I have children, I vote, I prepare food, I clean, I look descent, I drive, I make decisions, basically I juggle between being a man and woman at the same time. I am exhausted. Men are still men. Men cannot get pregnant, men cannot form the bond that women can make with children, men still get more pay for the same job, men are still dominating politics, and…etc.

If this is feminism, feminism really sucks. Everyday, more and more children are being dumped off to daycare as mothers don’t have time to bring up their own children. Everyday, more and more women are doing plastic surgery so that they look like the superstars in Hollywood. Everyday, more and more divorces are taking place as a result of roles getting all muddled up.

I sit and reflect; if we followed the Islamic way of life, would we still be here? For years, decades, centuries, Islam has been questioned for its laws regarding women. Women are being oppressed according to many non-Islamic entities. I am now thinking outside of my usual train of thought; maybe all along it was the other way around. If you look at the mess that we are in right now, maybe men should be responsible to provide for women, as women are the mothers of the children in this world. Women bring human life to this earth and that is feminism. To acknowledge what women offer in this world, and therefore providing for them is not oppressing them. Women covering their sexuality is protecting them and not oppressing them. Just take a look at the #meToo movement. How many cases are in regards to male harassment? Can we change the nature of men and women? Maybe not. Maybe we need to protect women by covering their private parts (What are our private parts- That is to be discussed in a later post).

I sit with my cup of tea, staring at my upcoming week’s schedule and think to myself, “Islam maybe the only religion that promotes feminism in the true sense of the word!”

5 thoughts on “Feminism, Capitalism, & Islam – What is equality? Being a man?

  1. Women are being oppressed according to many non-Islamic entities.
    and
    Women covering their sexuality is protecting them and not oppressing them.

    Unless I am mistaken, feminism believes women should have the right to express their sexuality freely. By that standard, restricting women’s sexual activity is indeed oppressive.

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    1. Thank you for your comment @OKRickety. When I Google feminism, the below comes up:
      ˈfɛmɪnɪz(ə)m/Submit
      noun
      the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
      I think that saying feminism is about expressing sexuality in a free manner is a misconception of the movement. Coming back to my point, in the spirit of equality, a woman revealing more skin doesn’t indicate that she is equal to a man. I think covering my body would indicate that you focus more on what I have to say. And that is equality. To have women talk with their mouth and not with their breasts or luscious hair.

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  2. I did not mean that feminism was solely about women having the right to express their sexuality as they wish. Feminists believe men have this right and they want the “equal right”.

    Yes, feminists want other rights, too. The equal rights to vote, drive, work, dress, etc.

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    1. Do men really have the freedom to express their sexuality as they wish? Also, men and women are by nature different entities, we are not the same whether one sees it from a perspective of science or as creations, so what does equal mean. If that is the case and we really claim men and women are the same and equality is to have exact same rights why do we then split up men and women in areas like sports etc. Or something even more trivial as acting and awards. Why are there different categories. We don’t hear the so called feminist complain about those things. In the end I believe we need to accept that men and women are different and equality doesn’t necessarily mean the exact SAME rights. Having said that, I too believe that women should have the right to work, vote, be part of society in the same way. If that is feminism then I am a true feminist.

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